Jazz win streak broken after home loss to Trail Blazers

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the basket on Houston Rockets guard James Harden during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland Ore. Saturday Dec. 9 2017. The Rockets won 124-117

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the basket on Houston Rockets guard James Harden during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland Ore. Saturday Dec. 9 2017. The Rockets won 124-117

Despite all the excitement and energy in the building, the Jazz's hot streak ended after a 100-81 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland has now won four of its past five games and improves to 33-26, a season-high tying seven games above.500.

"We didn't play with enough force tonight", Jazz coach Quin Snyder said.

The Blazers kept the aggressive Jazz at bay in the second quarter, taking an 11-point lead with 3:13 left in the half.

Nurkic totaled 15 points and seven rebounds, and Aminu had 12 with eight rebounds.

Gobert discredited the idea that the All-Star break was a big factor in the loss.

Lillard said it was important for the team to set the tone after the All-Star break as they continue to make a playoff push. "Luckily, we got that out the way, we've got another game tomorrow so we've just got to come back better".

CJ McCollum (26 points) and Damian Lillard (24 points) led the Trail Blazers scoring attack, but the story was Portland's defense. Mitchell led the squad with 21 points on 8-for-20 shooting for his 28th game of 20-plus points this season and new addition Jae Crowder posted 11 points.

"When you get behind these guys, their ability to make shots and make plays, its hard to catch up", Snyder said.

Joe Ingles would end with 12 points with a pair of treys, but the one-two punch of Portland guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum was too much to handle as they combined for 50 points.

"We wanted to win this one tonight, but we weren't able to get it done", Utah forward Jonas Jerebko said. Over the course of the game, turning the ball over as much as we did makes it really hard.

Portland had an early 21-11 lead.

"We know that this second half of the season is when it has to happen, it's when you've got to get the job done and you can have a great first half of the season and it can fall apart in the second half", said Lillard, a Weber State product. "We knew what it had to be and we came in here with that type of mentality". After Utah narrowed its deficit to nine points with fewer than three minutes to play in the game, McCollum silenced the home crowd with three straight heartbreaking field goals.

"We tried some different things, but it really didn't come together", Ingles said. "But we need to respond by being more precise and being a little tougher offensively and being more forceful". Utah will host the Dallas Mavericks Saturday night.

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